Sunday, 31 January 2016

Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Mascara with Grow-Lash Complex 003 Extreme Black - Review

I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as a one size fits all mascara. But I do believe that there are some mascaras that perform better for "most people" and some mascaras perform poorly for "most people". I am not digging this Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Mascara one little bit. I don't tend to like most Drug Store mascaras and this one is a prime example of why I don't like the majority of them. As a quick side note, I paid $7.99 on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for this tube. Thank goodness I got it on sale - it makes me feel better somehow.

I bought this mascara for 2 reasons. One, my hair stylist (who has fabulous taste) told me that her niece, who works for MAC, said there is a drug store mascara that is newish and it performs better than any high end mascara by far. I was intrigued. My hair stylist said that she couldn't remember the name of it but that she thought it was in a black and gold tube. Enter Amanda Ensing, the well known youtube vlogger. She has been swearing forever and a day that this mascara is the bomb for her bottom lashes and it is the only mascara that doesn't smudge on her.

Now mascaras smudge on me like no one's business so if I hear there is a smudge free one, I pounce. To this day I have only ever found two mascaras that don't smudge - L'Oréal Le Grand Curl (discontinued a million years ago much to my chagrin) and Estee Lauder's Double Wear Zero-Smudge Lengthening Mascara. Sorry, I went off on a tangent.....back to the matter at hand.

The first thing I noticed about this mascara was that it smudged like crazy on me, especially when I had my glasses on. First problem. Second thing I noticed was that it stings a bit, it's irritating! Guess it's the ingredients or whatever is in that Lash Accelerator. I suppose I'll never know if that works...

While the formula does allow you to apply numerous coats, my lashes look the same after 5 coats as they do with one or two coats. I get a bit of length, albeit not much, but zero volume and I need both! After I am done applying it, you can barely see my lashes. The look thin, wispy and lost against my eyeliner. 

The ingredients are quite the chemical cocktail. I have seen worse though. Frankly, I cannot find one redeeming quality to this mascara. If any of you love this mascara, please leave me a comment below and let me know why you love it because I am mystified. Oh it doesn't seem to flake or clump, I guess that is something. A picture of the brush is below:

Packaging: 9/10
Pigmentation: 7/10 (it's not jet black an it's supposed to be "extreme black")
Easy to Work With: 7/10 (yes but doesn't do much)
Longevity: 4/10 (smudges and looks like nothing)
Texture: 5/10 (soft but looks like nothing)
Price: 8/10 if it was good (but 2/10 for what you get)
Ingredients: 6/10   
Comfort: 1/10 (stings)
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Smudge Proof: 3/10
Flake and Clump Proof: 8/10
Attractiveness of Product: 1/10
Would I buy this again? NO 
Overall Rating: 3/10

Bits and Bites

  • Empties Post will be up tomorrow and I have quite a few goodies.
  • Gwen Stefani/Urban Decay reviews coming up! I bought most of the collection and I am quite psyched to chat about it.
  • I have one not so great eye primer and an epic fail eyeliner to review this week as well. Stay tuned as I plan on posting like a mad woman this week since I have been slacking.

Friday, 29 January 2016

REN Vita Mineral Emollient Rescue Cream - Review

I totally thought I had already done a review on this product but I checked today and lo and behold I hadn't. I am quite fond of the REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream for the summer months so I thought I would branch out and try a more heavy duty moisturizer in the REN line for the winter months. I decided to pick up the REN Vita Mineral Emollient Rescue Cream. It's $48 Canadian or $38 U.S. for 1.7 oz.

Now the instructions for this moisturizer say to warm a pea sized amount in your hand and then apply. I dismissed those instructions initially as you sometimes see such things on skincare directions and it usually isn't necessary. So I slapped some of this bad boy on my face and found I was struggling a bit as it was super thick and hard to spread. When I finally got it all over my face and applied my makeup, I didn't like the feel of it and that sensation lasted throughout the day. I felt like I was wearing a mask. So the next day I decided to be a good girl and actually follow the instructions. So I warmed it in my hands and yes it spread much better and I needed a lot less. It still took much longer to apply than any of my other moisturizers. My hands were left feeling super goopy and gross. Had to wash them asap and certainly before any makeup application.

After using this warming method, the product was much more wearable but there were still issues. My face felt tacky and sticky. I assumed that would fade as the day wore on but it didn't. When I took my makeup off that night and the night after that my skin was so stiff and tacky I didn't like it at all. I felt like I was wearing some kind of barrier between my skin and the elements. I think that is part of the purpose of this product, but you are not supposed to feel like you are wearing an actual barrier. This is the part where this product falls down big time. If that weren't annoying enough, it's a pain in the ass to apply and a messy process. I don't have time for a messy, complicated, time consuming moisturizer in the morning. I rarely return anything to Sephora but I returned this. It wasn't for me. I would love to know if any of you use this product and how you feel about it. I would like to try more products in the REN line but this one has scared me off a bit. I do have some travel sized REN products kicking around so maybe I will dip into them before I try anything else from REN.

Packaging: 8/10
Longevity: 10/10 (like nobody's business)
Texture: 1/10
Price: 6/10
Ingredients: 8/10
Moisturizing: ????? Can't Tell
Travel Worthy: Yes
Would I buy this again? HELL NO
Overall Rating: 3/10  

Sunday, 24 January 2016

The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover - Review

I first bought The Body Shop's Camomile Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover when I was teenager. I didn't think much of it at the time and I was positive there were far better eye make-up removers out there even in my teenage naiveté. Fast forward a number of years and I received another bottle in a bag of goodies I got around Christmas from The Body Shop. I don't typically buy a lot of their products as a lot of them have less than desirable ingredients, but I got a good deal on a bunch of stuff for presents and the like so I pounced. Also, some of their stuff like the body butters work well.

Call me crazy, but after using the Camomile Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover a few times in recent weeks I honestly don't think they have changed the formula of this since I last picked this up in the 1990's. It works the same, smells the same. It has a mild yet camomile scent. I personally hate the smell of camomile and camomile tea makes me gag. That's me though. I can stomach the smell of this somehow but I can still smell the camomile. This make-up remover does a barely passable job on removing my eye make-up, but I feel I have to scrub my eyeballs a tad to get the product in there and that is not a good thing. It's like a stiff water that doesn't spread out well.

If that wasn't annoying enough, it is not uncommon for me to find a small mascara smear or mascara crumbs on my eyelashes the morning after I have used this and washed my face before bed. So it really isn't cutting it in my book. I have said it a thousand times, but it's Klorane or bust for eye make-up remover for me!

In short, this sure as hell won't be a repurchase and nothing has changed in 20 years. I'm just glad I got this for free. Pass, just pass.  

Packaging: 8/10
Texture: 4/10  
Price: 8/10 (but for what you get it isn't such a deal)  
Ingredients: 7/10
Smell: 5/10
Easy to Work With: 3/10  
Works Well: 5/10
Travel Worthy: 6/10
Moisturizing: 6/10
Comfortable/Softening: 5/10
Would I buy this again? NO WAY
Overall Rating: 5/10

Saturday, 16 January 2016

MAC MACnificent Me Eyeshadow x9 Palette - Review and Swatches

Finally getting around to my review on the MAC MACnificent Me Eyeshadow Palette. I just checked MAC's website and it looks like it isn't available any longer. I believe some stores still have them in stock though. This palette is $48 Canadian or $40 U.S. At least one of the colours is permanent to my knowledge. Since MAC loves to do repromotes, some of these colours may pop up again so I think it's still worthy to do the blog review and swatches.

The first thing I want to point out is that this palette is super tiny. It looked a lot bigger online. Each eyeshadow is 0.8g or 0.02 oz. A regular MAC single is 1.5g or 0.05 oz. So each eyeshadow in this palette is approximately half of the size of a regular shadow. I don't totally mind this as this palette is good to travel with due to it being mighty tiny and also I think it will take me a while to use up this palette anyway. Hell, I don't think I have ever finished a palette in my whole life anyway.

The colours on the first row left to right are MACnificent Me!, Quiet Type and Dance in the Dark. Second row left to right is Fabulous DNA, Pleasing to the Eye and Sable (permanent). Third row left to right is Frankly Frosty, In My Element and Cool Complement.

What I like about this palette other than its travel worthiness is that the whole thing is a neutral palette with a mix of mattes, frosts and a lustre. It's a palette almost anyone could wear. That's a serious plus. I find a lot of these colours have a pink undertone so if that is not for you, it might be something to pass on. The first column of this palette is not so hot. The colours being MACnificent Me, Fabulous DNA and Frankly Frosty. I find these a tad chalky and flat. They aren't very glowy or bright on the lid. I wish they would have used any other 3 light MAC eyeshadow shades in here. In My Element, the only Lustre, is chunky and gritty. Not my fave either. The other 5 shades are wonderful.

All of these shades go together in this palette very nicely and if you aren't picky like me, it's fine to use on it's own and you could create countless looks with it. I just like my lighter shades to be brightening as I don't have large eyes to begin with so I find myself grabbing other shades to use with this palette. Okay, swatch time. From left to right in the picture below is MACnificent Me!, Quiet Type, Dance in the Dark, Fabulous DNA, Pleasing to the Eye, Sable, Frankly Frosty, In My Element and Cool Complement. As you can see, MACnificent Me!, the first of the swatches far left doesn't show up much on my skin. You can barely see it!!!

I confess I haven't bought many MAC products in the last year or so other than this palette. Too many other glittery things to buy at Sephora I think. I really like the look of the eyeshadow palettes they have put together this past few months. I own a lot of the colours though so I haven't pounced.

Recently I busted out a lot of my MAC stash and have dipped into it again. You forget how good some of these products are. Also, I am itching to use some things up and do a back to MAC before I bring in new stuff.

Packaging: 10/10   
Pigmentation: 8/10
Easy to Work With: 8/10 (lighter shades a bit tricky)
Longevity: 7.5/10
Colour Stays True: 8/10
Texture: 7/10
Price: 7/10 
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 8/10
Would I buy this again? Maybe
Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita and Lolita II - Review and Swatches

My next blog review was supposed to be on a MAC palette but I decided to bump this one up instead. I should have the MAC palette review up within the next day or two.

Jumping into the matter at hand, today I am going to review the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita and Lolita II. The ones I have are mini ones that came in a set I got from Sephora a couple of months back. I wanted the full sized Lolita just so I would know what the fuss was all about. It was and continues to be constantly sold out online and in every Sephora store I have visited for the past few months. So when this set popped up online, I snatched it up. In case anyone is interested, I saw a huge display of Lolita II at the Sephora in the Eaton Centre this past week. They had hundreds....

The full size is $20 U.S. or $24 Canadian. I can tell you upfront that they are well worth the money and I think the price is reasonable for what they are. They contain 0.22 oz. The minis I have are 0.10 oz. each so they are a good size still. I paid $23.50 for the set. I have used the Lolita one pictured above a number of times and I don't even see the quantity of lipstick going down as yet. Lolita is described as a chestnut rose which I would say it accurate. I love this colour. It is very "in" right now. You can certainly build it up and make it quite dark on your lips or put on a little with some clear lip gloss to brighten it up. Personally, I prefer to wear a little of my Bite Agave Lip Mask under it. I still get good staying power, it is comfortable to wear and it gives it a gorgeous sheen.

If you wear it on its own it does get quite dry on the lips but is still somewhat comfortable in winter as it remains a tad tacky. The dryness might be a bit much for some people to tolerate. This method of wearing it alone though gives you the most staying power for hours. It is probably not as dry on in the summer months I would guess.

Here are the swatches with Lolita on the left and Lolita II on the right.

Personally, I much prefer Lolita and I get what all the fuss is about. Its a gorgeous colour and it goes with a hell of a lot of makeup looks. This will definitely be a repurchase if I can ever get my hands on a full size. Lolita II is described as a terra cotta nude. I really didn't like this colour the first couple of times I wore it. Its very orange on me. However, if you are wearing the right colours (like grey for example to offset it) it doesn't look as loud. But hey, maybe you like loud lipstick that is orange! It's a personal choice. I prefer to wear this colour with no gloss added, no Bite Agave Lip Mask. Just straight up. It dries darker that way and is more pleasing to my eye anyway. I am slowly warming up to this colour but it really has to be worn with the right makeup and clothing or it looks awful on me. Lolita II would likely look fantastic on someone with a honey or peaches and cream complexion or a dark complexion.

I really like this product in general and I plan to buy other colours for sure from the line. The packaging is cute and the doe foot wand works well. They feel nice upon application and have a slight smell which isn't off putting. The pigmentation is crazy good. These are definitely one of the best lip products that I have discovered in the past year.

Packaging: 10/10 
Pigmentation: 10/10
Easy to Work With: 10/10
Longevity: 10/10
Texture: 7/10 (could be more comfortable when worn alone)
Price: 10/10 (worth every penny)
Ingredients: 8/10
Travel Worthy: 10/10
Attractiveness of Product: 10/10
Would I buy this again? YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!!
Overall Rating: 9.5/10 (a bit dry otherwise a 10/10)

Friday, 1 January 2016

December 2015 Empties!

Happy New Year!!!

Here are my December empties so let's get to it.

First up is a small travel sized jar of Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Eye Balm. It was ok, but I don't think it did anything for me. I think I blew through another one of these back in November. Both were gwp. Will not repurchase.

L'oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara was just plain awful and it smells like toxic garbage. It doesn't give me any volume nor length. Useless. This mascara is nothing like the Original Voluminous mascara that works really well and I maintain is the best mascara at the drug store. Save your money and never buy this.

Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover was a gwp bottle. It worked okay, but was greasy and some days did not remove my mascara fully. I will not repurchase. I only have love for my Klorane make up remover.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Light in 2.0. Another one bites the dust. It's my fave and I keep going back to it. Nothing compares. Already repurchased two bottles. Now that's hard core.

Gehwol Biosana Swiss Foot File is simply the best shower foot file. I have had this particular one for longer than I care to say. As you can see from the state of the wood, this dog has had its day. Already repurchased.

The Clarisonic Mia 2 Normal Brush Head I wasn't so crazy about. I think I prefer the Sensitive Brush Head the best. I am using the Deep Pore one right now and tests are still underway lol.

Is it freaking Estee Lauder day? Sheesh Alexis. Okay, last one I swear for the day. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye was no great shakes in my book. It too was a gwp. It felt nice on but I noticed zero difference day after day and week after week.

Bourjois Paris Volume 1 Seconde Mascara worked well for about a week and then turned to crap. Strangest phenomenon for a mascara ever. It was too inky and burned if it got into my eyes. It acted like a cheap drug store mascara within days of starting to use it. I don't know why I had it kicking around so long. It had to go. Here is the link to the full review:

Last, but not least, I have a tube of the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer. It really wasn't that bad. I got it with a Lorac palette I got ages ago. I wouldn't rush to go and buy another, but it worked and it also gave some nude coloured coverage for the eyelid as well. One of the better eye primers out there. The last little bit became hard as a rock and I can't squeeze it out of the tube.

So that's it! I have a MAC eyeshadow palette up next along with some eyeshadow singles from other brands to review for you. I am working on testing out the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani palette so hopefully I will have a review on that up within the next few weeks.